April 7, 2012
Natalie Land hit a solo home run and the rest of the Knights' bats remained hot as the UCF softball team cruised to 9-0 win at UTEP in six innings.
The Knights (29-10, 9-3 in Conference USA) jumped on the Miners (12-27, 2-13) early, as Land hit a deep blast to left field to lead off the game. It was the second time this season that Land opened a game with a long ball.
Land went 2-for-3 with two runs and two RBI on the day and 5-for-11 with seven runs, five RBI and four stolen bases for the series.
Freshman Mackenzie Audas (15-5, 6-1 in Conference USA) pitched her seventh shutout of the year, including five in Conference USA games. She struck out seven and lowered her ERA in league play to 0.70.
UCF returns home for a huge non-conference showdown with No. 4 Florida at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. The sold-out game will be televised on Bright House Sports Network, and fans who do not have tickets will be able to view the game for free behind the outfield fence.
Saturday's nine runs gave the Knights 36 for the three-game series, which is the most in school history for a C-USA series.
In the second inning Saturday, freshman Hayley Barrow walked, stole second and scored on an RBI single by junior Danielle Brewer to put the Knights up 2-0. Barrow walked three times on the day and scored three runs. She went 4-for-7 with five runs scored and five walks.
UCF broke the game open in the sixth inning with four runs on four hits. Land hit an RBI triple down the right-field line, and freshman Kahley Novak singled up the middle to score two more runs. Novak had an excellent series, as she went 7-for-10 with four RBI and improved her season average to .296.
The Knights will return to conference play at UAB next weekend after their home game against Florida.
Season tickets are now $25 and are available online at UCFAthletics.com and Ticketmaster.com or by calling the UCF Athletics Ticket Office at (407) 823-1000.
UCF fans can follow all of the action on UCF All-Access with live video and audio. Fans also can follow UCFAthletics.com's Gametracker as well as www.twitter.com/UCF_Softball.